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Despite Dark Knight, DC Still Crushed by Marvel, But It's Fans Who Are Really Screwed in November Sales

Written by Jude Terror on Friday, December 11 2015 and posted in News with Benefits

Despite Dark Knight, DC Still Crushed by Marvel, But It's Fans Who Are Really Screwed in November Sales

And ultimately, it's all your fault.

Source: Diamond

Diamond have released their November sales charts, showing that Dark Knight III did indeed take the top spot. However, far from saving the company from falling market share, as DC had hoped, it they still found their share doubled by Marvel, who took all nine other top ten spots. More worrying, however, is the fact that only three of the books in the top ten carried a four dollar price tag, with five priced at five dollars and two priced at six! If only there was a website that warned you all what would happen if you rewarded Marvel and DC for charging five dollars for comic books... hmmm... where could we find such a website?

Oh? What's this? A quote from a rant we ran weekly for several months at the beginning of this year? What does it say?

You start out with a standard price point... say, $1.99. And then you start to put out "special" comics priced at $2.50 and $2.99. As people get used to buying these, you slowly start to shift your regular comics to that price point until, before anyone realizes it, that's just the new price of comics. Then you start pricing your "special" books at $4.99, and repeat the whole process.

This is what's going on right now. Marvel puts out nearly all their event comics and special issues at $4.99, and DC even recently tried to raise the price of the regular Batman title to that price point. And history shows that readers will not hesitate to buy these "special" comics at that price. In fact, it usually results in a massive sales boost; see DC's September gimmick month and Marvel's Death of Wolverine for evidence.

Now, obviously, you and I don't want to pay more money for comics, but as long as we will anyway, there is absolutely no incentive for Marvel and DC to not continuously hike the price. Not only is this bad for you and me, but it's bad for the industry in general. It may result in more profits in the short term, but comics are already priced out of the range where a casual reader with interest in the medium can dive in without making a major financial commitment.


But did you listen to us, readers? Noooooooooo. You actually bought MORE $4.99 comics, pushing them to the top of the charts month after months, and now $4.99 is considered a normal price, with special books priced at $5.99. I expect us to hit ten dollar comics by the end of the decade, because comic book readers clearly lack any self-respect.

And before you say, "but Jude, look at that year-to-year chart, comic unit sales have risen 5% since last year," remember that 2015 is a year where we've seen several MASSIVE comics launches where hundreds of thousands of books were purchased by companies like LootCrate and sent for free to subscribers (many of whom probably didn't give a shit about them, and certainly wouldn't purchase one for five bucks), or where variant reboot extravaganzas led to books like Invincible Iron Man selling almost 300,000 copies (to retailers), only for those numbers to drop by 70% the next month. Publishers are making more money, and they're pushing more comics into the direct market (which is all it takes to get on this sales chart), but they aren't being purchased by actual readers, which means that paltry 5% gain in units probably represents a net loss of actual human beings reading these things, and a net gain of dollar bin comics in the basement of your local comic shop.

So cheers to you, publishers and readers. You're killing the industry, one overpriced incentive variant cover reboot super-mega-crossover event tie-in comic at a time. In 2016, Marvel has two crossovers planned already for the Spring, and one for the Summer, and this year's "Summer" crossover event hasn't even wrapped up yet. We haven't nearly hit rock bottom yet.

Here's the charts. Read 'em and weep:




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About the Author - Jude Terror

Jude Terror is the Webmaster Supreme of The Outhouse and a sarcastic ace reporter dedicated to delivering irreverent comics and entertainment news to The Outhouse's dozens of loyal readers. Driven by a quest for vengeance, Jude Terror taught himself to program and joined The Outhouse. He instantly began working toward his goal of forcing the internet comics community to take itself less seriously and failing miserably. A certified trash eater ruining the pristine field of comics journalism with his sarcasm and goofiness, Jude Terror is secretly friendly and congenial, so if you've got a complaint, why not just bring it up to him instead of subtweeting like a jackass, jackass? You can find him on Twitter or try your luck with an email, but keep in mind that he is notoriously unreliable and may not get back to you right away. Unless you want to send him free stuff, in which case he'll get back to you immediately.

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